A major Armenian opposition party is considering nominating the first-ever female presidential candidate in the country’s history, it was confirmed on Monday.
Press reports in recent days have said that Anush Sedrakian, deputy chairwoman of the Free Democrats party, could stand as a candidate in the Armenian presidential election due in February.
Sedrakian did not deny those reports, saying that the matter is being discussed by the party leadership. “These discussions are laying the groundwork for new public attitudes,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). Armenia’s political elite needs a “generation change,” she said.
Sedrakian insisted that a woman can do well in Armenia’s male-dominated political arena. “In practical terms, our society is not quite man-centered because Armenian women bear fundamental responsibility, and those who have responsibility must also have equal rights,” she said.
Artak Davtian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), welcomed the possibility of a female candidate in the intensifying presidential race. “That would be a quite good gesture addressed to the entire political scene,” he said.
The Free Democrats are represented in Armenia’s current 131-member parliament, elected in May, by two deputies. They won those seats after forming an electoral alliance with another opposition party, Zharangutyun (Heritage). The alliance, which got 5 percent of the vote in the May elections, effectively fell apart last month.
The talk of Sedrakian’s nomination is a further indication that the Free Democrats will not support Zharangutyun leader Raffi Hovannisian’s presidential bid. Hovannisian officially announced his participation in the presidential ballot on November 2.